Saturday, 28 February 2015

Vienna, Austria


   
In the British film noir THE THIRD MAN Holly Martins (Joseph Cotten) visits his old school friend Harry Lime (Orson Welles) in Vienna, capital of Austria. Upon arrival he is informed that Lime was killed in a mysterious car accident. Martins tries to find out what really happened.

The Third Man, 1:37:37
Warning: the text may give away details of the plot.
Filming in Vienna was done from 22 October until 11 December 1948, in a city where the destructive traces of World War II were still visible on every street corner. The centre was supervised by the Allied Commission and divided in an American, a British, a French and a Russian zone. This situation would not end until 1955. Unlike The Sound of Music, which was also shot in Austria, The Third Man is a film that the Austrians appreciate.
Just after my stay in Vienna I found out that there are still many locations that can be visited. There are special tours that include a visit down the original staircase from the movie into one of the older parts of Vienna's sewer system. There is even a The Third Man-museum and the movie is still being shown regularly in a cinema. In 2009 a commemorative stamp was releases to mark the sixtieth birthday of the film.

More or less by accident we photographed a few locations that can be seen throughout the movie.
When Holly Martins arrives in Vienna the city is introduced with several images of the postwar-situation, including the Schönbrunn Palace that served as headquarter of the British forces. Today the palace and its gardens are one of Vienna’s most popular attractions.

The Third Man, 0:02:08
Schönbrunn Palace, Vienna, 10 July 2014

Just after his arrival, Holly Martins meets one of Harry Lime’s friends, Kurtz (Ernst Deutsch). He takes him to the street where the car accident happened, just in front of the house where Lime lived. This scene was filmed at Josefsplatz, a square near the Hofburg Palace. In the centre of the square is a statue of the emperor Josef II but only the base can seen in the movie.

The Third Man, 0:15:22
The Third Man, 0:15:32
Josefsplatz, Vienna, 12 July 2014

The famous Giant Ferris Wheel is part of the Wurstelprater, a large park with fairground attractions, and was erected between 1896 and 1897. It has become the most famous construction of Vienna. The entrance of the ticket sale reminds of the movie with a portrait of Orson Welles as Harry Lime. Judge for yourself if it is convincing.

The Third Man, 1:06:20
Entrance Giant Ferris Wheel, Vienna, 12 July 2014

At the end of World War II the park and its attractions were heavily damaged and most of them burnt down to the ground. However, after three years the Giant Ferris Wheel was already restored and could be used as a filming location. When Holly Martins finds out Harry Lime is still alive he meets him at the park and together they ride the ferris wheel.

The Third Man, 1:15:30
Giant Ferris Wheel, Vienna, 12 July 2014
The Third Man, 1:15:53
Giant Ferris Wheel, Vienna, 12 July 2014

Located next to the Giant Ferris Wheel is the Austrian branch of Madame Tussauds Wax Museum. Orson Welles is portrayed in wax as Harry Lime, just at the moment as he enters the cafe to meet Holly Martins. Very appropriately, the statue can be seen at the museum’s cafe.

The Third Man, 1:33:50
Madame Tussauds, Vienna, 12 July 2014

A few moments before the scene at the cafe the police are on the lookout at the Michaelerplatz. With the mysterious shadow seen on the building, this is one of the many camera angles so characteristic of this movie. On the right are two sculpted figures. They are part of the fountain “The Power of the Sea”, celebrating Austria as a naval army. The fountain is dated 1895 and was designed by Rudolf Weyr. On busy days it is hard to make a photo without a tourist posing in front of the statues.

The Third Man, 1:31:10
"The Power of the Sea", Michaelerplatz, Vienna, 12 July 2014
"The Power of the Sea", Michaelerplatz, Vienna, 12 July 2014

Many thanks to the website The Third Man locations where almost all locations from the movie are listed.
 
Screenshots © Studio Canal

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